A Culture of Winning

National champions

Relive the excitement of the football team’s historic run to the 2016 FCS National Championship through the lens of JMU Athletics.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Sept. 3, 2016

Running back Khalid Abdullah celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the Dukes’ first game of the season against Morehead State. JMU went on to defeat the overmatched Eagles, 80-7.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Sept. 10, 2016

JMU improved to 2-0 after dispatching Central Connecticut State, 56-21. Quarterback Bryan Schor threw for a career-high three touchdowns, Khalid Abdullah joined the 2,000-yard club and the Dukes returned two punt returns for touchdowns in the win.

(Photo: Ken Oots)

Sept. 17, 2016

JMU went on the road to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in Week 3 and jumped out to an early lead over UNC with three first-quarter touchdowns. Khalid Abdullah and the Dukes matched the Tar Heels score for score in the first half before ultimately falling, 56-28.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Sept. 24, 2016

JMU opened CAA play at Maine. Cardon Johnson and Khalid Abdullah combined for nearly 300 rushing yards, and the defense came up big in the second half to lead JMU past the Black Bears, 31-20.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Oct. 1, 2016

JMU returned home for Family Weekend and ran away with a thrilling 43-20 triumph against CAA-foe Delaware to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the CAA.

(Photo: Ellie Wood (’20))

Oct. 8, 2016

Khalid Abdullah rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns and Taylor Reynolds made a late interception to give JMU a 31-24 win over rival William & Mary.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Oct. 15, 2016

Bryan Schor accounted for a career-high five touchdowns and the Dukes notched a wild 42-39 victory at New Hampshire. It was JMU's first win at UNH in 10 years and snapped the Wildcats’ 17-game regular-season home win streak.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Oct. 29, 2016

JMU set a single-game scoring record with an 84-7 victory over Rhode Island on Homecoming. Bryan Schor set the completion percentage record and tied the passing touchdown record, while Daniel Schiele was the first tight end in JMU history to score three times in a game.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Nov. 5, 2016

Jonathan Kloosterman caught two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with just over a minute remaining in the game, and JMU upended rival Richmond 47-43 on the road to stay unbeaten in CAA play.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner ’87))

Nov. 12, 2016

JMU's defense caused four turnovers and recorded multiple key stops as the Dukes posted a 20-7 victory over Villanova in a Top 10 showdown. With the win, JMU clinched its second consecutive conference title and the first outright for JMU since 2008.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Nov. 19, 2016

The seven-touchdown win on Senior Day was a great way to close out the upper classmen’s final regular-season game at Bridgeforth Stadium. JMU completed a perfect CAA record with a 63-14 triumph over Elon.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Dec. 3, 2016

Bryan Schor tied the program record with five passing touchdowns, and fourth-seeded James Madison scored seven touchdowns in the middle quarters to rout New Hampshire, 55-22, in the second round of the FCS playoffs at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Dec. 9, 2016

Fourth-seeded James Madison dominated in all three phases of the game, breaking numerous team playoff records en route to a 65-7 victory against fifth-seeded Sam Houston State in the FCS quarterfinals at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Dec. 16, 2016

Khalid Abdullah ran for 180 yards on 23 carries as No. 4 James Madison rolled to a 27-17 win at No. 1 North Dakota State. With the win, the Dukes earned their first trip to the NCAA FCS National Championship since 2004.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

Jan. 7, 2017

JMU held Youngstown State to 292 total yards as the Dukes captured their second national title in program history.

(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))

The Dukes are the eighth FCS program to earn multiple national titles and the first CAA team to do so. JMU ended North Dakota State's five-year national-title run and became the first CAA national champion since Villanova in 2009.

(Photo: Steve Jaffee (’87))
‘This has certainly been an exciting first year. Together, my staff and I look forward to building upon the success of 2016, and we are collectively eager for what the future holds for us at JMU.’
Coach Mike Houston
(Photo: Steve Jaffee (’87))
‘Mike Houston is not only a successful football coach, but he is a quality person, a great mentor and an embodiment of our aspirations as an athletic department and as a university.’
Jeff Bourne, Athletic Director
(Photo: Cathy Kushner (’87))
‘We are all extremely proud of how this team has exemplified grit, resilience and a commitment to excellence throughout this historic season.’
Jonathan Alger, University President
(Photo: Scott Eyre)
‘The JMU community is a part of us as a city and is a great asset and partner to the city. We are ecstatic that they have brought back a second football national championship to Harrisonburg.’
Deanna Reed, Mayor of Harrisonburg
(Photo: Tanner Leslie (’19))

Jan. 10, 2017

The city of Harrisonburg hosted a parade for members of the Harrisonburg, Rockingham County and university communities to celebrate the JMU football team's national championship. “We are so proud of the football team and our neighbor Dukes,” said Mayor Deanna Reed.

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